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Steamboat is going RFI! - Page 2

post #31 of 41

@DanH: We went there in February (non-holiday), it wasn't busy at all.  Compared to, say, Blue Mountain, it was positively EMPTY.  Big mountain, multiple lifts and areas, lots of open space to run.  Sunshine area was slightly "busy" (that's where the beginners all go), but other than that, tons of space.  The trees were practically empty as well, depending where you go.

 

If you do go to Steamboat, drop @Finndog a line, he's a local that knows all the stashes for any ability level.

post #32 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
 

I realize that this is an old thread but I'm considering a trip to Steamboat and I've heard different things about how busy it is.  Some reviews say it's quiet and some say it's over-crowded.  

Over crowded? Well it can be busy like any other resort in the world during holidays but overall, Like @Gunnerbob said, its really not crowded at all compared to other Colorado resorts. A typical mid-week day lift line wait is about 1 minute :D  seriously....  Even at Christmas the lift line in Sunshine at most times is about 15 minutes  That can vary of course if its a powder day around 11AM as the whole world gets out about 10am but if its nice and cold (not according to @Gunnerbob) say around 10* and cloudy, then the mountain is empty as Texans don't do cloudy or temps below 15* :D. If you get out early you can get a good 2 hours of skiing with very light traffic during peak times.  Most people don't get out until 10 or so.  At Steamboat, the "First Tracks" program is the way to go during peak holiday season. For an additional $35.00 you get up the mountain by 8am. If you come up, I would be happy to show you some good mountain management tips depending on ability.  

post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

Even at Christmas the lift line in Sunshine at most times is about 15 minutes 

Thanks Finndog, wait times by a local are very helpful.  I will ski Steamboat over new years and I'm trying to understand the crowds.  What are wait times like at other lifts?

 

(FYI, I last skied steamboat in '94 and recall significant lines at Storm Peak and Sundown lifts too but my memory is fuzzy)

post #34 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post
 

Thanks Finndog, wait times by a local are very helpful.  I will ski Steamboat over new years and I'm trying to understand the crowds.  What are wait times like at other lifts?

 

(FYI, I last skied steamboat in '94 and recall significant lines at Storm Peak and Sundown lifts too but my memory is fuzzy)

 

well the lift lines are also dependent on the time of day and the conditions.  Like I have said before, get out early during the holiday mornings and beat the crowds.  Christmas morning and new years day morning are dead!    but on a really good dat it can be long. Last year I remember on a really deep morning with sunny skies there was a 1/2 hour wait at Morningside. I have NEVER, EVER waited anywhere that long before but it was only that lift.  

 

Another little secret is that often in late december early january we get our really cold mornings of -20F or even more but on top of the mountain will be zero or even 10*.  No one comes out.  Just dress a little warmer and cover your face. The temps rise pretty quick and the mountain will be empty.  The snow gets super dry and good.  

 

Tip for the AM, where it can get bottle-necked is at the Gondi, so get on the Christi chair or if possible you can drive up to the Thunderhead lift but you can't park there.  Again, getting out early is so key.  Any thursday-Sunday Storm will bring out big crowds in search of freshies so you will have to get there at least an hour before the open.  But once you are up, things really move well.  There are a few secrets that I am only permitted to show in person though :D 

post #35 of 41

Thanks, for the offer, I may just take you up on that. 

post #36 of 41

@Finndog showin the luv to the Ontarians!  Keep this up and we may make you an honorary Canuck, Finn!  :D

post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

 Even at Christmas the lift line in Sunshine at most times is about 15 minutes  That can vary of course if its a powder day around 11AM as the whole world gets out about 10am but if its nice and cold (not according to @Gunnerbob) say around 10* and cloudy, then the mountain is empty as Texans don't do cloudy or temps below 15* :D. If you get out early you can get a good 2 hours of skiing with very light traffic during peak times. 

 

Last year I remember on a really deep morning with sunny skies there was a 1/2 hour wait at Morningside. I have NEVER, EVER waited anywhere that long before but it was only that lift.

I ran across some interesting quotes from steamboat's MDP (steamboat resort authored this document)

  • On peak days, the gondola line can reach a 35+ minute wait and line-ups will last all morning
  • [Thunderhead] is rated at a maximum of 2,400 pph and experiences lines in excess of 25-40 minutes during morning staging periods on busy days
  • The Sundown lift is the primary route for these skiers to access the Sunshine Bowl and it experiences short lines on busy days. On the busiest days, Steamboat operates the older Priest Creek lift to take pressure off the Sundown lift; it does not run full, however, it is effective to mitigate the longest lines
  • [South Peak] lift is rated at 1,800 pph and loads a maximum of approximately 1,450 pph (a low loading efficiency of about 80%, due to the lower skill class of its users) with lift lines peaking at 15 minutes long
  • [Elkhead] experiences extreme crowding at the end of the day on peak days. This results in lift lines that can exceed 35-45 minutes on peak days and persist for 1.5 to 2 hours

http://ww1.steamboat.com/web/masterplan/iv_final_mdpa_2011_master_plan_proposals_sept_2011.pdf

 

Conclusions from the above: these stats are for peak days and only for a few hours at each lift.  Avoiding these bottle necks is important.

post #38 of 41
Thread Starter 
Without a long protracted response. I have covered theses topics

Gondi- don't show up like every one else at 9:30-10. Get there early or better yet buy a first tracks pass when really busy take the Christy Chair.

Sundown can get busy again getting there early make s a big difference Try heading over to four points lift and work that area if you want easier terrain. On a powder day go right to the four points lift. If it's busy. Avoid the storm peak chair
Don't end the day on sundown-sunshine area. If you are advanced work over to storm peak south or north and ski out from there.

I will say I can't remember a 45 minute wait anywhere but I guess it's possible. Like all resorts at Christmas try to eat lunch early to avoid crowds and take advantage of the lunch time lull on the slopes.
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

Without a long protracted response. I have covered theses topics

Gondi- don't show up like every one else at 9:30-10. Get there early or better yet buy a first tracks pass when really busy take the Christy Chair.

Sundown can get busy again getting there early make s a big difference Try heading over to four points lift and work that area if you want easier terrain. On a powder day go right to the four points lift. If it's busy. Avoid the storm peak chair
Don't end the day on sundown-sunshine area. If you are advanced work over to storm peak south or north and ski out from there.

I will say I can't remember a 45 minute wait anywhere but I guess it's possible. Like all resorts at Christmas try to eat lunch early to avoid crowds and take advantage of the lunch time lull on the slopes.


Sorry Findog, I wasn't disagreeing with you, just adding some details other might find helpful.  It shouldn't be too hard to avoid these lines with a little planning.

post #40 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post


Sorry Findog, I wasn't disagreeing with you, just adding some details other might find helpful.  It shouldn't be too hard to avoid these lines with a little planning.

Sorry didn't mean to come off short. Thanks for the additional info! Cheers. Just skied a foot of fresh at Copper this am... It won' be long. Steamboat is looking good with about 8" and more is on the way early next week.
post #41 of 41

Things are looking great at Steamboat with all the new snow.  One question for anyone in know:

 

Steamboat lists opening times for lifts, including storm peak and sundown not opening until 9.  I'm a first lift kind of guy.  If I ski down to those lifts right away, do I really have to wait 15 minutes for them to open?

 

Thanks for the help

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